We have just returned from a well organised and fun-filled holiday to the Chatham Islands with Merv Halliday. Toni Croon, hotel owner, bus driver and tour guide was a source of local knowledge. Together, these two gave us the best holiday ever. If you are looking for a unique holiday experience with amazing scenery and attractions and the opportunity to mix with the locals we highly recommend Merv's Chatham Island Tours.
Enjoyed every day of this tour. The Chatham Islands are such an interesting place to visit with every day being enjoyed to the full. The accommodation was very relaxing and meals delicious. So happy we took this tour.
Just wanted to thank you sincerely for a fabulous trip to the Chathams. The overall experience far exceeded my expectations and I found it a great experience. The people on the island are all lovely and friendly and very knowledgeable. The accommodation in the “Forget me not suite” was better than 1st class and very impressive. Toni and her staff were great, and the service and quality/presentation of the food in the restaurant was excellent. The lovely barmaids Laurissa and Sarah looked after us well. The bus driver/guides Bernadette and Marcel were both great and nothing seemed a problem for them. The complimentary local beers, wine and entre at Lois’s house on the last night went down very well and we met her daughters who were lovely also. All together a great trip to cross off my bucket list.
We are over from the UK, and although in Whakatane, we managed to hook up with a tour from Whanganui. A really interesting group of people, good mix of ages, and backgrounds - plenty of farmers and teachers 🙂 We loved that we were looked after from the minute we arrived at Whanganui airport by a myriad of people. Friendly Air Chathams team, Margie our guide, Massive and Nikolai, our local guides, and then Toni and her team at Hotel Chathams. Pretty much everything was included and once we realised that the itinerary was just a guide, but really weather and tides etc really rule what you do and when, we chilled out and enjoyed everything that we saw (a lot) and the fabulous hopspitality and humour of every single person that we encountered. We even had an unscheduled trip to the races which was hilarious fun. Just the last two races - and no we didn’t win anything. Food was sensational - and so much variety. I ate the best mutton I have ever eaten, paua about 20 different ways (all delicious), whitebait, crayfish, blue cod, mutton bird, weka, ham, salads and more. A hidden secret I think - both the quality and quantity of the food and the skills of those who prepared it. We saw beautiful gardens (Admiral Gardens), historic houses (Helen’s stone house), and had lunches out alfresco. It was very moving to visit the Kopinga Marae and be welcomed so warmly. We were showered with goodies too. Overall I thought it was very good value for money and being on the tour opened doors to places and people you wouldn’t see otherwise. Recommended highly.